Is Gum Disease Curable?

February 29, 2024

One good example of gum disease is a stubborn weed in your garden. It can be managed and kept under control, but it’s not always easy to get rid of it completely. In its early stages, called gingivitis, it’s reversible with good oral hygiene habits like

brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings.
But if it progresses into periodontitis, where the infection goes deeper, it becomes more of a challenge. While it can’t be “cured” traditionally, it can be managed with professional treatment from your dentist and continued diligent care at home. It takes effort but is doable.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease usually starts with plaque buildup, a sticky and transparent layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth when you don’t brush and floss regularly. When plaque is not removed on time, it becomes a solid material called tartar. This solid form of plaque irritates your gums and causes inflammation.

Factors like poor oral hygiene, smoking, certain medications, hormonal changes, and genetic predisposition can all increase your risk of developing gum disease. So, keeping up with your oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups is key to keeping those gums healthy.

Types of Gum Disease and Their Treatments

Gum Disease comes in a few different flavors, so to speak, with varying severity and treatments:

  • Gingivitis
    This is the early stage of gum disease, where the gums become inflamed. It’s usually reversible with good oral hygiene practices like regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings. Your dentist can also recommend antimicrobial mouthwash to help reduce bacteria.
  • Chronic Periodontitis
    This is the most common form of gum disease and occurs when gingivitis progresses, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets where bacteria can thrive. Treatment usually includes scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning procedure to remove plaque and tartar below the gum line. In some cases, antibiotics or antimicrobial mouth rinses can also work.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis
    This form of gum disease progresses rapidly and can cause severe damage to the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Treatment requires scaling, root planing, and more aggressive therapies like surgery or laser therapy to remove infected tissue and promote gum and bone regeneration.
  • Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
    This is a severe form of gum disease, tissue death, and necrosis. It’s often associated with underlying conditions like HIV infection, malnutrition, or immunosuppression. Treatment involves deep cleaning, antibiotic therapy, and addressing underlying health issues.
  • Periodontitis as a Manifestation of Systemic Diseases
    Certain systemic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis can increase the risk and severity of gum disease. Treatment requires management of the underlying systematic condition with standard periodontal therapy.

Final Verdict

As serious as gum disease’s consequences are, it makes people wonder, “Is gum disease curable?”. Like diabetes, it is not completely curable. But it’s totally manageable. A seasoned dentist or a periodontist can suggest long-lasting treatments to restore your gum health.

Visit our board-certified periodontist, Dr. Michael K. McGuire, at Perio Health Professionals. Our doctor is a proud author of more than 50 scientific articles and textbook chapters. This makes him a perfectly qualified professional for your oral health. Dial (713) 783-5442 to reach out.

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